After a 2-7 2013 season that included an 0-4 start, the Weyauwega-Fremont football team is looking for a little respect in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference this year.
Coach Tom Chase knows his team will have to earn that respect, as the Indians open the season at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at Adams-Friendship.
Several W-F fans headed to Berlin Aug. 15 to watch the Indians scrimmage against Berlin, Clintonville and Columbus.
“Last Thursday night, not very good,” Chase said. “Friday and Saturday was better and we got a lot better this week. A lot of good glimmers of things to come.”
The Indians lost five of their seven CWC-8 games last season and Chase said his team’s goal is to get back to the WIAA playoffs.
“That’s what we want to do,” he said. “We’re going to try and put our athletes in a space to make plays for us. We did some of that today and it was good. We were good awhile back and we’ve hit kind of a lull. They’re working hard and I think they have a little confidence now.”
Chase plans to use sophomore Trevor Flease and senior Blake Hudziak at quarterback, with Flease taking most of the snaps.
“The concern is he’s a little light, only 137 pounds,” he said. “He’s a football athlete. He knows the game, he knows what to do and makes good decisions. I can put something on his shoulders and he makes the right decision. Blake does a lot of those good things, too. He’s a bigger-body guy and he’s going to get some snaps. He might get 30 percent of the snaps.”
Flease and Hudziak hooked up for long touchdown passes at least three times in the scrimmage.
“Blake’s a good receiver,” Chase said. “You put Dylan (Pankow) on the other side and that’s a lot of mismatches that we can look for. Trevor can throw it to either one of those guys.”
Flease played mainly on the junior varsity last year, but played a little in the season finale, a 34-26 come-from-behind win over Stevens Point Pacelli.
“We had him come in the Pacelli game a little and he got some snaps there,” Chase said. “I wanted to give him a little bit of a work. I just didn’t want to throw him out there last year as a 125-pounder. It’s a stretch this year, but he’s a player.”
The Indians have to replace second-team all-conference players Andrew Wild, Cody Chase and Adam Krause; and honorable mention players Brandon Loehrke, Aaron Schroeder and Dan Prillwitz.
On the other hand, a handful of returning players are already taking on leadership roles, according to Chase.
“Trevor Wetzel’s been doing a great job all year long, Andy Bork’s stepping up as a lineman and Brandon Hanes, a junior, had a really nice scrimmage tonight,” he said. “Nick Burton’s doing a good job, Corey Schmidt had a good scrimmage and Logan Bosquez is doing some great things for us as well at center and linebacker.”
Shiocton fielded one of the most dominant teams in the state last year, as the Chiefs rolled through the CWC-8 and capped a 14-0 season with a 35-0 win over Darlington in the Division 6 state championship game.
“Shiocton’s coming off of a state championship, but I think Amherst is going to be better,” Chase said. “Shiocton’s still going to be good, but those are the top two. Iola’s going to be a good team, I think Bonduel’s going to be a good team. Wittenberg and Pacelli have a new coach coming in and I don’t know what Manawa’s going to bring. There’s no easy game on the schedule.”